Table of Contents

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Migration

Handbook of the International Political Economy of Migration

Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series

Edited by Leila Simona Talani and Simon McMahon

This Handbook discusses theoretical approaches to migration studies in general, as well as confronting various issues in international migration from a distinctive international political economy perspective. It examines migration as part of a global political economy whilst addressing the theoretical debate relating to the capacity of the state to control international migration and the so called ‘policy gap’ or ‘gap hypothesis’ between migration policies and their outcomes.

Chapter 15: Neoliberal restructuring, forced migration and unprotected work in a globalising Cairo: a critical international political economy perspective

Roberto Roccu

Subjects: development studies, migration, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, political economy, social policy and sociology, migration


This chapter departs from much existing literature, which considers migration to be a consequence of globalisation. It is instead inspired by the work of a less prominent part of the scholarly community in migration studies (Glick Schiller and Ca_lar 2009; Castles 2010, 2013), which contends that migration is an integral part of the process of transnational integration that has spanned the globe over the past four decades. In other words, I do not think that globalisation causes increased migration, but rather that globalisation is, among other things, increased migration. While this might at first seem an exercise in academic nitpicking, it has wide-ranging implications for how we study migration as well as for how effective migration policies might be designed. In order to understand also the policy preconditions for the current wave of migration, it is necessary to problematise the very concept of globalisation, which is understood by a rather sizeable literature as an essentially exogenous process, triggered by technological transformations to which agents must adapt (Talani 2014). By referring to a seemingly inescapable logic of economic compulsion, this understanding of globalisation as a ‘process without a subject’ tends to obfuscate the key role that political decisions have had in creating and pursuing the path of global economic restructuring undertaken since the late 1970s (Hay 2002).

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